RECIPES • by Julianne DiNenna

“You don’t have to do this!” Joe grabbed Mara’s hand as she reached for the doorbell at number 81. “This is not you!” An odor of damp emanated from the stone facade.

“This was your idea,” Mara pushed Joe away and rang. “It’s your fault. You were the one who organized everything, remember, even the move.” Church bell chimes sounded. The heavy wooden door groaned as it opened centimeter by centimeter like the unraveling of gift wrap.

“Signora Romano, I presume.” A heavy-set lady loomed over the doorstep, the room behind illuminated by candles. Joe strained to register Madame Lumiere. She wore a white, curtain-like dress. Globe earrings hung down alongside long, black hair. Her nose dominated her face.

“And my husband Joe. Vatsula gave him your number.”

“Follow me.” Madame ushered them to a large round table, pulled the shutter ajar at the opposite window.

“Do you know what to expect?” Madame pushed in their ladder-back chairs, her dress billowing around her.

“Vatsula told me you wore a turban.” Joe spaced his chair away from the table. Madame sat down across from them.

“I answer to many callings. I reflect what spirits want to see.”

“Spirits want all these candles? You charge extra for these? Vatsula didn’t say anything about candles.”

“Where I dwell, there is only transition. Negative energy will hinder our mission. Shall we proceed?”

“Mara, this is all very weird. Let’s go.”

“What’s wrong with you?” Mara tapped Joe under the table. “Behave now.”

“So you remain true to your mission, Signora, unlike your husband.” Madame removed a match from a beaded box. She lit a large, round, cream-colored candle centered on the table, placed nail-painted hands over it, and sighed, lowering herself into a massive wooden chair behind her. “We call your grandmother?”

“My nonna, Giovanna,” Mara took her husband’s hands.

“She died at 81?” Madame closed her eyes. Joe thought back to the number on the door, 81. Was that a coincidence?

“Giovanna, blood is thick, spirits are wide. Appear!” Madame moaned. Her irises turned under her eyelids.

“There are countless Giovannas,” Mara interjected. “How do you know if you are calling my nonna?”

Madame opened an eye and peered at Mara. She shut it again, opened the other. That eye shut too. Madame opened and closed each eye while holding her hands over the candle. The flame bent sideways, up, then back down. Mara squeezed Joe’s hands.

“That candle won’t last long like that, she’ll definitely charge extra,” Joe said.

“Giov-v-v-a-a-a-n-n-n-a-a.” Madame’s eyes opened and closed at a quickened pace. Her head swayed to the flickering flame. She rose up. Her body, puppet-like, heaved to a half-standing position. She whirled about the table, arms dangling, then jutting into the air. Madame pranced, moaning. “Giovanna, blood thick, spirits wise!” The shutters banged open. A gust of wind blew the candles out.

Joe groped for a match, lit the candle. The flame flickered.

“Who’s bothering me?” Madame slumped in her chair. Her head landed on its side on the table, her eyes wide open.

“Madame, everything alright?” Joe retreated further from the table. “This is weird.”

“What do you want, Woman?” It was an old familiar voice.

Mara hung onto Joe, his mouth o-shaped. “What’s going on?”

“Tell me, I was almost resting peacefully till this.” The voice came from Madame but she didn’t move. The heavy breeze whipped through the room, swept past their chairs.

“Nonna? Can that be you?”

Come mai? Mara, that sounds like you. Don’t tell me you’re dead!”

“Oh no, Nonna, I’m not dead. I’m here with Joe. We wanted to find you so you could tell me how you made your sauce. Yours stood up straight, mine is so runny. Please tell me!”

“My sweet Mara, you convoked me here to ask about my sauce? You didn’t hold onto my recipes?”

“Well, I tried. Joe lost them in the move. You know I always loved your cooking! Please tell me!”

Carina mia!” 

Mara relaxed her grip on Joe’s hands. But the voice grew sinister. “You were always an annoying child! Couldn’t let anyone be, always crying for something. No, no recipes, figure it out yourself.”

Mara clenched Joe’s arm. “But I want to pass your recipes to my children — ”

“You married that worthless American man? Disastro! I told you to marry Umberto.”

“Umberto was over 180 pounds with greasy hair.”

“He wouldn’t have lost my recipes, would he? Umberto loved my cooking!”

Joe gripped Mara this time. Who was Umberto?

Mara was talking again. “Nonna, please — ”

Porco miseria! You’re on your own now!” The breeze whipped around the table, the candlelight flickered.

“Hey, I’m not that bad!” Joe piped up. “Didn’t lose the ceramic bowls.”

“What happened to my jewels?” Madame was up, her body whirled around the table, her arms waving over head.  Her hair spiked up lock by lock.

“I — I don’t know — ” Mara tightened her grip on Joe. “You’re scaring me, Nonna, you were never like this before! I just wanted the recipe!”

Joe peeled Mara’s nails from his skin, he was bleeding. Mara was screaming, her eyes transfixed on Madame. “Joe, I am out of here!”

“I’m coming!” Joe stood up but Madame had wedged her twirling self between him and Mara. “Madame, calm down, please! Let me help you!” She pranced, twirled. When Joe could finally wiggle around her, the door was open. Mara was gone.

“That’s it!” Joe pulled Madame into a chair. She slumped her head, moaning again. He searched the wall, flipped the lights on.

“Vatsula, I know it’s you. I said make it authentic, not weird,” he said. “Anyway, thanks, I think Mara will stop blaming me for losing her grandmother’s recipes. Here’s your 50 bucks.”

Madame’s dress fluttered. “I told her you were a bum! You’ll pay $81 and I want my jewels.” It was the same familiar voice.


Julianne DiNenna is an Italian-American writer from Washington, DC. She is a constant sea-crosser, voyaging on an open page when not traveling for work, trailing ink like footprints in soft soil.  Her poems and short stories have been published in Italy, a Love Story, Offshoots, Hello Switzerland, Susan B and Me, Grasslands Review, ‘Airplane Reading’, among others.


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Every Day Fiction

  • samantha

    Fun read! I liked the flow of the story, the humour and that it mocked the spirit industry as well.

  • samantha

    Fun read! I liked the flow of the story, the humour and that it mocked the spirit industry as well.

  • Is it “Blood is thick, spirits are wide” or “Blood is thick, spirits are wise?”

    I chuckled at the irritation of Giovanna being summoned over a recipe.

    I got the feeling that Madame DID have some powers?

    Joe’s comments, perhaps intended as comic relief, interrupted the flow for me. Would have prefered to have read him acting like he was being drawn into the drama with his wife prior to the reveal. I think the jewels references could be dropped.

    • Samantha

      Re: Madam’s powers. I didn’t. I thought it was Vatsula that had staged it all. Did I miss something?

      • A feeling only because of the detailed description of the flame – The flame bent sideways, up, then back down – which I took literally instead of flickering in different directions, and the out-of-left-field references to the jewelry.

        • Samantha

          I took that as being the set up one would expect in those spirit-calling sessions…a fan could do the flame trick easily. She spoke as Giovanna and kept the same voice for the bill. The reference to $81 is also mocking the coincidences of age and address and the magical powers, I thought. And maybe the jewelry bit had to do that it was a “steal/robbery” same as her services.

          I may well be wrong.

          • I have “Rainman” tendencies when it comes to story details. A curse, indeed. 🙂

          • Samantha

            Rainman was brilliant in picking up things others would miss. I love you comments and the way you see things.

            Oh, I love your pic.

          • 🙂

      • S Conroy

        I hope I’ve understood it correctly now. My understanding is that Joe the skeptic told Vatsula he would pay her to put up a good show. In the end what happened was that Vatsula just did her job and truly became possessed by the spirit of Nonna, foiling Joe’s plan somewhat.. I assumed the jewellery reference was to some of Nonna’s jewells that Joe had misappropriated and now Nonna/Nonna’s spirit wants them back.

        • Samantha

          me too…Thanks for that!!!!

        • Re the jewels – that’s the hint I got. If so, I wish it had been stronger as it would make a strong ending, the twist that the Madam wasn’t a sham. If not, then the jewelry references are not needed. Confusing, no? Dayam, I want so badly to rewrite this for myself with a dark twist 🙂

          • S Conroy

            Agree (assuming I haven’t misunderstood something). Jewels either not needed or more needed. Joe’s mysterious windfall or something.

        • Samantha

          Maybe Vatsoula knew about Umberto. Good points guys.

        • Samantha

          help me out pls. Nonna seems unaware that she married him….so if Joe did not know Nonna how could have he pinched the jewels?

          • S Conroy

            Oh. She does know. Check out this line. “You married that worthless American man? [read ‘Joe] Disastro! I told you to marry Umberto.”

          • Samantha

            She asks her in surprise, so she appears not know that she married him….

          • S Conroy

            Yes, you could be right that she is surprised they are married. Or it could be a rhetorical question. Not really sure..
            In any case Joe and nonna do know each other. Nonna told Mara not to marry him since he was a bum in her opinion.
            As far as the jewels go, I’d need more info too. I’m not even sure if he’s supposed to have taken them when she was alive, or if it happened after her death. With any luck the author will check out the comments and clarify.

  • Is it “Blood is thick, spirits are wide” or “Blood is thick, spirits are wise?”

    I chuckled at the irritation of Giovanna being summoned over a recipe.

    I got the feeling that Madame DID have some powers?

    Joe’s comments, perhaps intended as comic relief, interrupted the flow for me. Would have prefered to have read him acting like he was being drawn into the drama with his wife prior to the reveal. I think the jewels references could be dropped.

    • Samantha

      Re: Madam’s powers. I didn’t. I thought it was Vatsula that had staged it all. Did I miss something?

      • A feeling only because of the detailed description of the flame – The flame bent sideways, up, then back down – which I took literally instead of flickering in different directions, and the out-of-left-field references to the jewelry – You’ll pay $81 and I want my jewels.” It was the same familiar voice.

        • Samantha

          I took that as being the set up one would expect in those spirit-calling sessions…a fan could do the flame trick easily. She spoke as Giovanna and kept the same voice for the bill. The reference to $81 is also mocking the coincidences of age and address and the magical powers, I thought. And maybe the jewelry bit had to do that it was a “steal/robbery” same as her services.

          I may well be wrong.

          • I have “Rainman” tendencies when it comes to story details. A curse, indeed. 🙂

          • Samantha

            Rainman was brilliant in picking up things others would miss. I love you comments and the way you see things.

            Oh, I love your pic.

          • 🙂

          • Frank

            And 81 was the number of tor.com installments of Cory Doctorow’s “Makers.”

      • S Conroy

        I hope I’ve understood it correctly now. My understanding is that Joe the skeptic told Vatsula he would pay him well to stage a good show. In the end what happened was that madam just did her job and truly became possessed by the spirit of Nonna, foiling Joe’s plan somewhat. (Joe for instance didn’t know who Umberto was, so it seems likely that it was Nonna’s spirit.) I assumed the jewellery reference was to some of Nonna’s jewells that Joe had misappropriated and now Nonna/Nonna’s spirit wants them back.

        • Samantha

          me too…Thanks for that!!!!

        • Re the jewels – that’s the hint I got. If so, I wish it had been stronger as it would make a strong ending, the twist that the Madam wasn’t a sham. If not, then the jewelry references are not needed. Confusing, no? Dayam, I want so badly to rewrite this for myself with a dark twist 🙂

          • S Conroy

            Agree (assuming I haven’t misunderstood something). Jewels either not needed or more needed. Joe’s mysterious windfall or something.

        • Samantha

          Maybe Vatsoula knew about Umberto. Good points guys.

        • Samantha

          help me out pls. Nonna seems unaware that she married him….so if Joe did not know Nonna how could have he pinched the jewels?

          • S Conroy

            Oh. She does know him. Check out this line. “You married that worthless American man? [read ‘Joe] Disastro! I told you to marry Umberto.”

          • Samantha

            She asks her in surprise, so she appears not know that she married him….

          • S Conroy

            Yes, you could well be right that she is surprised they are married. Or it could be a rhetorical question. Not really sure..
            In any case Joe and nonna do know each other. Nonna told Mara not to marry him since he was a bum in her opinion.
            As far as the jewels go, I’d like more info too. I’m not even sure if he’s supposed to have taken them when she was alive, or if it happened after her death. With any luck the author will check out the comments and clarify.

  • I thought the misspellings and word usage maybe suggested an ESL author.
    As I read it, I let those slide. The story was fun, albeit, a little
    choppy.

    • Samantha

      But she is….and so are many…

      • Samantha

        Italian is not even my third language but I can help out with some of the things that may have been difficult for you….if that’s the problem.

        nona=grandma
        porco miseria – loose translation damn (misery is miseria)

        So could you now elaborate on your ESL comment? If an Australian was to write this, would it have been better? They are native speakers of English some would argue (Im making a joke on that…love the Aussies).

      • The language felt choppy to me. In the first paragraph, “the odor of damp” is most commonly in English written “damp odor.” That is what started it for me. As JS pointed out, it is in the writer’s bio prominently that she is Italian-American. I had no intention of saying that a native speaker of English (any of
        it’s various dialects) would have made this story any better than it is.
        I also was most certainly not trying to be demeaning of anyone who has
        English as a second language.

        I did not have a problem with the
        pet names being Italian. I had a sister-in-law that was called ‘Zia.’
        (Italian for aunt) I understood the story and its words. I know quite a few of them.

        • Samantha

          You meaning naming your pets or pet-names for people in Italian?? Anyway, no point.

          • I clearly have made you angry. I apologize for mentioning the writing style of the author in such a way that was insensitive.

            Mea Culpa.

          • Samantha

            Great! Thanks for the Latin. De nada.

          • MPmcgurty

            I don’t think it was mentioned in an insensitive manner. I wondered the same thing in a few spots.

        • Sarah Crysl Akhtar

          “Damp” is being used here as a noun rather than adjective. As in, “I’m so bothered by the damp.” A little old-fashioned to heighten the atmosphere. A deliberate choice I thought. Gives us a whiff of the graveyard.

          • OK. Damp is a pretty versatile word. If that was indeed the intent, it seems out of place with the rest of the piece.

    • Joseph Kaufman

      Can you send a contact message to EDF with any misspellings you find? There’s no need to just mention that there are misspellings and leave it at that — we can fix them…

      …and I just ran the text through Word’s spell checker (all I have time for right now, I’m afraid), and didn’t find any misspellings. Can you elaborate on where you perceive errors?

      • Samantha

        I would also like some elaboration on the ESL comment…are stories supposed to be written by native speakers alone?

        • Joseph Kaufman

          From EDF’s viewpoint, it doesn’t matter if someone speaks/writes English natively, as a second language, or via some sort of translation. We judge the story on its content and flow. A computer could write it (if computers could write) and we’d publish it if we liked it and thought the readers would, too.

          I’m not entirely sure what feels “ESL-ish” about this piece in the first place, though. I don’t recall stumbling once or being distracted by any turns of phrase, and, as I said, a basic spell-check did not turn up any red flags.

          • Samantha

            I know you guys feel that way!!! Its just the comment made was out of line! Did the commentator feel that the fact the author MAY be (and happens to be actually and good for her) from another background bad?

            Hope I did not get the message right…just hope.

          • S Conroy

            Nah. Really don’t think it was meant like that… I think the reader felt the language didn’t always flow so well and he wondered if the writer’s native language wasn’t English. ‘Sall..

          • I liked the story. That was in my first comment. The first paragraph set the tone for me to make the statement.

            I would not want diminish or taint what you guys are doing here at all. I love the stories. Plus, reading other people’s work is always enlightening for me.

            I believe that this has already diverted attention away from the story and placed it on a sentence that I used in a comment.

            If it makes sense to remove my comment(s), please do.

          • Joseph Kaufman

            Ward, not at all — your comments are fine. I think the most that folks are asking for (me included) is for some elaboration. For example, someone stating, vaguely, “This needed editing and the typos were annoying,” is not as useful a comment as: “I was distracted by this particular line due to a misplaced modifier: , and at one point the author used ‘their’ instead of ‘there’.” Hopefully you see how specificity goes a long way, and is SO useful to the author. An author can’t do much with just, “This needed another editing pass.”

            In my experience, the more specific you are, the less folks will take issue. And if you are specific and honest, I can assure you that we will always have your back as far as being allowed to express your opinion, provided it is constructive.

          • Thanks.

            I mentioned the catalyst for my editorial comment in a previous comment to Samantha. The “odor of damp” statement set the tone for the rest of my time reading the story. I was not off-put with the phrasing, but it did distract me from the story a bit. I don’t know if the author is missing a word after “damp” (like damp earth, dirt, shoes) or if they meant “damp odor.”

            I liked the story and it is just my kind of plot, twisty at the end and leaves you questioning motives.

      • See my initial post:

        Is it “Blood is thick, spirits are wide” or “Blood is thick, spirits are wise?”

        Same phrase used twice but one used “wide” the other “wise.”

    • Re word usage – I took it intentional writing with an Italian-American flavor. See the writer’s bio 🙂

      • Samantha

        Godfather should be banned I say. Too much of THAT “foreign” stuff…or even better lets call Don Corleaone SMITH….more familiar…..lets ban past as well….

      • Samantha

        An non Italian could have written it. One need not justify their backgrounds! For Pete’s sake are we here to read and enjoy new stories or what?

        And I feel bad the the writer has to read this “opinion” which has nothing to do with how good or bad the story was written. I did not see the ESL factor…..and if the editors had felt that it was not English the writer was writing, they would have picked it up.

        Im just shocked at the comment.

        • Joseph Kaufman

          Your opinion is noted, I think, and I think Ward’s original comment is not actually all that bad. His opinion is as valid as anyone’s, it was merely lacking specificity. He clarified that later by mentioning some parts that jarred him, and his tone has been friendly.

          As far as what the writer will read, I think any published author probably has a fairly thick skin. As I state in a comment above, I think what writer’s appreciate most is honest feedback and specific details, and Ward’s comments (as a whole) at this point provide that.

          • Samantha

            I agree, that’s why I believe elaboration was needed. There are readers and writers that have English as a second language so a general comment like that is not encouraging in my view. All good.

      • MPmcgurty

        Perhaps, but I don’t read the bios before I read the stories. It’s not a bad thing to wonder about these things as you read a story. I also thought “odor of damp” was odd but I didn’t associate it with any language. Another place I paused was when Mara says Umberto “was over 180 pounds”. Wow. 😉

        • Neither do I. Nor the comments. But I am a real early riser.

          • MPmcgurty

            You really are! I’ve noticed that and admire it (but will make no attempt to emulate you). 😉

          • I assure you, MP, it is not intentional!

  • I thought the misspellings and word usage maybe suggested an ESL author.
    As I read it, I let those slide. The story was fun, albeit, a little
    choppy.

    • Samantha

      But she is….and so are many…

      • Samantha

        Italian is not even my third language but I can help out with some of the things that may have been difficult for you….if that’s the problem.

        nona=grandma
        porco miseria – loose translation damn (misery is miseria)

        So could you now elaborate on your ESL comment? If an Australian was to write this, would it have been better? They are native speakers of English some would argue (Im making a joke on that…love the Aussies).

      • The language felt choppy to me. In the first paragraph, “the odor of damp” is most commonly in English written “damp odor.” That is what started it for me. As JS pointed out, it is in the writer’s bio prominently that she is Italian-American. I had no intention of saying that a native speaker of English (any of
        it’s various dialects) would have made this story any better than it is.
        I also was most certainly not trying to be demeaning of anyone who has
        English as a second language.

        I did not have a problem with the
        pet names being Italian. I had a sister-in-law that was called ‘Zia.’
        (Italian for aunt) I understood the story and its words. I know quite a few of them.

        • Samantha

          You meaning naming your pets or pet-names for people in Italian?? Anyway, no point.

          • I clearly have made you angry. I apologize for mentioning the writing style of the author in such a way that was insensitive.

            Mea Culpa.

          • Samantha

            Great! Thanks for the Latin. De nada.

          • MPmcgurty

            I don’t think it was mentioned in an insensitive manner. I wondered the same thing in a few spots.

        • Sarah Crysl Akhtar

          “Damp” is being used here as a noun rather than adjective. As in, “I’m so bothered by the damp.” A little old-fashioned to heighten the atmosphere. A deliberate choice I thought. Gives us a whiff of the graveyard.

          • OK. Damp is a pretty versatile word. If that was indeed the intent, it seems out of place with the rest of the piece.

    • Joseph Kaufman

      Can you send a contact message to EDF with any misspellings you find? There’s no need to just mention that there are misspellings and leave it at that — we can fix them…

      …and I just ran the text through Word’s spell checker (all I have time for right now, I’m afraid), and didn’t find any misspellings. Can you elaborate on where you perceive errors?

      • Samantha

        I would also like some elaboration on the ESL comment…are stories supposed to be written by native speakers alone?

        • Joseph Kaufman

          From EDF’s viewpoint, it doesn’t matter if someone speaks/writes English natively, as a second language, or via some sort of translation. We judge the story on its content and flow. A computer could write it (if computers could write) and we’d publish it if we liked it and thought the readers would, too.

          I’m not entirely sure what feels “ESL-ish” about this piece in the first place, though. I don’t recall stumbling once or being distracted by any turns of phrase, and, as I said, a basic spell-check did not turn up any red flags.

          • Samantha

            I know you guys feel that way!!! Its just the comment made was out of line! Did the commentator feel that the fact the author MAY be (and happens to be actually and good for her) from another background bad?

            Hope I did not get the message right…just hope.

          • S Conroy

            Nah. Really don’t think it was meant like that… I think the reader felt the language didn’t always flow so well and he wondered if the writer’s native language wasn’t English. ‘Sall..

          • I liked the story. That was in my first comment. The first paragraph set the tone for me to make the statement.

            I would not want diminish or taint what you guys are doing here at all. I love the stories. Plus, reading other people’s work is always enlightening for me.

            I believe that this has already diverted attention away from the story and placed it on a sentence that I used in a comment.

            If it makes sense to remove my comment(s), please do.

          • Joseph Kaufman

            Ward, not at all — your comments are fine. I think the most that folks are asking for (me included) is for some elaboration. For example, someone stating, vaguely, “This needed editing and the typos were annoying,” is not as useful a comment as: “I was distracted by this particular line due to a misplaced modifier: , and at one point the author used ‘their’ instead of ‘there’.” Hopefully you see how specificity goes a long way, and is SO useful to the author. An author can’t do much with just, “This needed another editing pass.”

            In my experience, the more specific you are, the less folks will take issue. And if you are specific and honest, I can assure you that we will always have your back as far as being allowed to express your opinion, provided it is constructive.

          • Thanks.

            I mentioned the catalyst for my editorial comment in a previous comment to Samantha. The “odor of damp” statement set the tone for the rest of my time reading the story. I was not off-put with the phrasing, but it did distract me from the story a bit. I don’t know if the author is missing a word after “damp” (like damp earth, dirt, shoes) or if they meant “damp odor.”

            I liked the story and it is just my kind of plot, twisty at the end and leaves you questioning motives.

      • See my initial post:

        Is it “Blood is thick, spirits are wide” or “Blood is thick, spirits are wise?”

        Same phrase used twice but one used “wide” the other “wise.”

    • Re word usage – I took it intentional writing with an Italian-American flavor. See the writer’s bio 🙂

      • Samantha

        Godfather should be banned I say. Too much of THAT “foreign” stuff…or even better lets call Don Corleaone SMITH….more familiar…..lets ban past as well….

      • Samantha

        An non Italian could have written it. One need not justify their backgrounds! For Pete’s sake are we here to read and enjoy new stories or what?

        And I feel bad the the writer has to read this “opinion” which has nothing to do with how good or bad the story was written. I did not see the ESL factor…..and if the editors had felt that it was not English the writer was writing, they would have picked it up.

        Im just shocked at the comment.

        • Joseph Kaufman

          Your opinion is noted, I think, and I think Ward’s original comment is not actually all that bad. His opinion is as valid as anyone’s, it was merely lacking specificity. He clarified that later by mentioning some parts that jarred him, and his tone has been friendly.

          As far as what the writer will read, I think any published author probably has a fairly thick skin. As I state in a comment above, I think what writer’s appreciate most is honest feedback and specific details, and Ward’s comments (as a whole) at this point provide that.

          • Samantha

            I agree, that’s why I believe elaboration was needed. There are readers and writers that have English as a second language so a general comment like that is not encouraging in my view. All good.

      • MPmcgurty

        Perhaps, but I don’t read the bios before I read the stories. It’s not a bad thing to wonder about these things as you read a story. I also thought “odor of damp” was odd but I didn’t associate it with any language. Another place I paused was when Mara says Umberto “was over 180 pounds”. Wow. 😉

        • Neither do I. Nor the comments. But I am a real early riser.

          • MPmcgurty

            You really are! I’ve noticed that and admire it (but will make no attempt to emulate you). 😉

          • I assure you, MP, it is not intentional!

  • Carl Steiger

    Just plain fun.

  • Carl Steiger

    Just plain fun.

  • Paul A. Freeman

    That was fun. Cheers, Julianne.

  • Paul A. Freeman

    That was fun. Cheers, Julianne.

  • S Conroy

    Really enjoyed this one.

  • S Conroy

    Really enjoyed this one.

  • Kathy

    I’m surprised no one commented on the phrase “nail-painted hands” – seems to me it should be painted-nail hands.

  • Kathy

    I’m surprised no one commented on the phrase “nail-painted hands” – seems to me it should be painted-nail hands.

  • Jacquie Rogers

    Great reveal! There were one or two clumsy passages, like the repetition of ‘this’ in the first, third and fifth sentences. And Joe discovering only halfway through the story that a seance is weird.

    However, I loved the comic bandinage between Mara and her Nonna, and thought the end was great fun.

  • Jacquie Rogers

    Great reveal! There were one or two clumsy passages, like the repetition of ‘this’ in the first, third and fifth sentences. And Joe discovering only halfway through the story that a seance is weird.

    However, I loved the comic bandinage between Mara and her Nonna, and thought the end was great fun.

  • joanna b.

    ah well, confusing but so lively. the grandma, whether she was in the room or in her grave, was marvelous. “My sweet Mara” followed by “You always were an annoying child” — inspired.

  • joanna b.

    ah well, confusing but so lively. the grandma, whether she was in the room or in her grave, was marvelous. “My sweet Mara” followed by “You always were an annoying child” — inspired.

  • I really enjoyed both the story and the double twist at the end. Great stuff.

  • I really enjoyed both the story and the double twist at the end. Great stuff.

  • Tinker

    This doesn’t make sense in English, “her eyes transfixed on Madame. ” its not the correct meaning of the word transfixed, maybe you mean fixed.

  • Tinker

    This doesn’t make sense in English, “her eyes transfixed on Madame. ” its not the correct meaning of the word transfixed, maybe you mean fixed.

  • Joy Manné

    I loved it. Full of twists. As soon as I thought it was going one way, it snaked in another direction – or should I say hte candle flame flickered in another direction. Great surprise ending.

  • Joy Manné

    I loved it. Full of twists. As soon as I thought it was going one way, it snaked in another direction – or should I say hte candle flame flickered in another direction. Great surprise ending.